Extreme legislation by Colorado Democrat state Senators last week divided their caucus and may lead to some uncomfortable questions being asked of their most vulnerable when they start to campaign.
Sen. Andy Kerr figured he’d try to re-enact the 2013 legislative session by proposing a bill that would feel more comfortable in liberal safe-havens like Massachusetts than the commonsense, middle of the road way of Colorado. It didn’t take long for Coloradans to notice and to make their displeasure heard. And the media? Kerr’s antics just irritated them.
How bizarre was this bill and this entire episode? Associated Press Kristen Wyatt reporter and Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee try to describe it to KRCC:
Kristen Wyatt: This was a bizarre episode in the legislature. It was like the Super Bowl when they snapped the ball to Peyton Manning and it went bad right from there… Everything went wrong for the Democrats in terms of they couldn’t agree themselves whether this bill was appropriate, whether it went too far. It was Republicans just sitting back and watching them squirm on reproductive health.
Kurtis Lee: It was interesting to see why Democrats, their reason for killing the bill. They said, hey they don’t want this to be a big topic the last three weeks of the session. They said that Republicans would make this the key point the rest of the session, they didn’t want this to “D.C.-style politics,” they didn’t want filibusters. Republicans said, hey we didn’t say any of this, look you guys ran into this, this was your bill, you saw the opposition to it and you have to own it.
KW: It seems that Democrats turned on the stage lights, set the scene, handed out tickets, and then blamed Republicans for turning it into a theater production. [the Peak emphasis]
Two vulnerable Democrats, Sen. Rachel Zenzinger and Sen. John Kefalas, were less than thrilled to have this bill before them, and with Democrats only having a one-seat majority in the Senate, their wavering support for the measure ensured its demise.
Unfortunately for Zenzinger and Kefalas, Kerr seems more concerned with scoring personal political points than helping them out. As he told The Colorado Statesman:
Kerr said that despite the concerns within his own caucus, he had the votes to pass the bill. Democrats needed all 18 members to support the measure… If even one Democrat bucked the party, it would have died.
“I’ve talked to every single Democrat in the caucus and every Democrat stands up for individuals in Colorado making their own decisions when it comes to their reproductive health care, and every single member of the caucus has said that they’re ready to vote ‘yes’ on this,” explained Kerr. [the Peak emphasis]
So which is it, Zenzinger and Kefalas? Is Kerr a liar or would you two have voted for this extreme measure? Your constituents deserve to know.